Global Policy Forum

The First Iraqi Social Forum Takes Place in Baghdad

headerThe World Social Forum, known for its inception in Porto Alegre, is in fact the starting point for a number of regional, thematic and local forums. Since its first meeting in January 2001 in Porto Alegre, the World Social Forum has gathered together more than 2 million people. This year, among many events, there will be a Social Forum in Iraq. As there is no real democracy without participation, the attempt to transcend ethnic, religious and political divisions, to open a path for participatory democracy in Iraq, deserves support.

26 September, 2013 | Iraqi Social Forum (ISF)

Another Iraq is possible

Statement of the Iraqi Social Forum

We believe another Iraq is possible! Our vision is to support civil society in shaping alternatives and rebuilding Iraq into a nation that respects people of all religious, sectarian, ethnic and national affiliations, a nation that promotes equal rights for all its citizens. To demonstrate our commitment to making the struggle against corruption a reality and not a mere slogan, we organized ourselves with full transparency and shared all information concerning the creation of the Forum, the first of its kind in Iraq. We believe that social services to create employment opportunities and eradicate poverty are powerful means for social transformation. Forum participants will be discussing all these urgent needs of the Iraqi people.

Our vision is that nonviolence is the only means for promoting lasting social transformation and we rely exclusively on nonviolent strategies in all our struggles for change. We are committed to elevating the importance of voluntary work and have relied upon the efforts of dozens of volunteers to make the Forum a reality. We share a conviction that the young women and men of Iraq must be supported so that they can assume their places as the leaders of tomorrow and we have provided open space for youth and youth organizations to undertake these responsibilities. Growing out of our fundamental rejection of violence, displacement, and killing, we steadfastly reject all war and terrorism, and demand peace.

In solidarity with the struggles of people everywhere for freedom and social justice, and their opposition to global imperialism and corporate control of people’s fates, we invited all friends of the Iraqi people to join the Forum. With open hearts and open arms Baghdad will host civil activists from across the world. Together they will proclaim that another Iraq is possible! Another world is possible!

The forum will include plenary sessions attended by large numbers, smaller gatherings convened in nine different halls, as well as many tents representing organizations and campaigns, all of it arranged by Iraqi civil society. An inspiring program of art events will enrich the forum. Facilities will be allocated for media, with secure access to all the Forum activities.

The Iraqi Social Forum will take place in Baghdad, from the 26th to the 28th of September, the first large gathering in Iraq based upon the World Social Forum Charter of Principles. It will include more than 140 activities organized by hundreds of Iraqis and some international activists. Participation is open to everyone who shares the principles of the World Social Forum.

The Forum Includes: Sports Against Violence activities at the University of Baghdad on Thursday morning (9/26), an official opening at the National Theatre on Thursday evening (9/26), and parallel activities in Al-Qushla and at the Baghdad Cultural Center on Friday and Saturday (9/27-28).

Solidarity activities are being organized around the world. The Extended Iraqi Social Forum started with events in Bangladesh and Pakistan on the 17th of September and will close with a week of events in Italy on the 1st-5th of October. Many international organizations will connect with activists at the Iraqi Social Forum through Skype (contact: isf.extensionteam) and watch several session on streaming (check the streaming window on

You can view the program  of the forum (Arabic and English ), here.

For more articles in English on the Iraqi Social Forum check:


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